Monday, May 21, 2012

I think I have a problem

My books to read are creeping up around me.  Not just some list of books I'd like to get my hands on and read at some point, but actual, physical books that I've purchased over the years.  Some I've had for several years and still haven't opened.  It's like some weird literary hoarders.  Maybe not that bad.  But yeah, I've got a problem.  I'm telling you, because I know that you'll understand.  You've been there.  You're probably there now.  If you're reading this blog, you've probably got a book-buying problem as bad as mine.

This is what my to-read bookshelf (yes I have a whole bookshelf devoted to unread books) looked like on Friday:

And this is what it looks like today:

My town library's annual book sale was this weekend and, of course, I went.  Twice.  Once right after they opened to get the good picks, and once right before it was over to clean up and fill a sack for $5.  The winnings (first day's picks are on the left, second day's on the right):

Yes, I know that there are two copies of Beloved.  I bought a copy for $1 the first day, and then found another copy in better condition on the second day and got it since it wouldn't cost me extra.  And i haven't read the two books in the Thursday Next series prior to One of Our Thurdays is Missing yet but what was I supposed to do, leave it there?  That's reasonable, right?  Right?

I comfort myself by telling myself that I buy most of my books used.  They cost me hardly anything, so I should get them while they're cheap, right?  Sound logic, except that if I never read the thing, even $1 is too much.  Then again, even if I don't read them for 30 years, it's still worth the dollar in the long run.  And that kind of logic is what results in me alphabetizing this year's book sale books right alongside last year's book sale books as well as those copies of Lolita and A Clockwork Orange that I've had since high school.  High school.  Granted, I'm fairly young, but that still means those books are at very least seven years old, and up to eleven (in my defense, I've tried and failed to read both but have yet to give up on either).

The ultimate defense: my book addiction is both cheaper and more preferable than crack.  So all you smokers and nail biters can leave me alone!

How does my TBR pile compare to yours?  Better?  Worse?  How do you justify it?


  1. Oh my gosh...I am so scared of getting back to NJ and having to deal with all my boxes of books. When I lived in Philly I had one of those giant Ikea bookcases, 6'x6', and had to shelve my books from both directions. I got rid of a lot of books before I left my apartment, but I still have way more books than is reasonable for one person to own. But even knowing how many unread books I am returning to, I want to order a box of books to be waiting for me when I get off that plane July 31st.

    But, like you say: cheaper than crack! I try comforting myself by thinking about how much more money I'd spend if I were really into something like video games.

    I love the before-and-after photo. (When I was in college, my parents tried to ban me from the library's book sale, because the same thing would happen to my shelves.) I might take a photo of my TBR "shelf" (boxes? books piled on the floor?), except that it may be enough to qualify me for a books-focused episode of Hoarders.

    1. So glad to know I'm not the only one! 6x6...that's impressive. I'm not sure how many read books I have, as they're stacked up in various places and in boxes and drawers...

  2. They're used books so you're fine! And I totally get buying a second copy of Beloved that's in better condition. And no Fforde books left behind!

    I am impressed with the whole TBR shelf. I tried that once but got too lazy to move books off of it once I read them.

    1. Lol! I don't have nearly enough room in my apartment to keep all of my books, so once I've read them I bring them over to store in any cranny I can find in my old bedroom at my parents' house. They don't like it very much, but it works for me!

  3. Don't worry I am like this too, and if it makes you feel better I have many more unread books that I actually own than you do.

    We should pilot Hoarders: Literary Edition!

    1. What a relief! When ever my husband complains about the excess, I'll direct him to you! :]